Safeguard audience trust, Afghan Federation of Media Organisations and Journalists demands the BBC Afghanistan

Safeguard audience trust, Afghan Federation of Media Organisations and Journalists demands the BBC Afghanistan

Statement by Federation of Media Organisations and Journalists in Afghanistan on the BBC Afghanistan’s coverage of Taliban’s recent attack against journalists
The BBC Afghanistan’s interview with the Taliban’s spokesman immediately after their brutal killing of Afghan journalists on 20th January in Kabul, angered many Afghans. A number of media professionals and members of civil societies both inside and outside Afghanistan launched a campaign called “Help Make BBC Afghanistan Accountable” and submitted a detailed complaint demanding the BBC to clarify the reasons and the necessity of the interview with the Taliban’s representative.
The campaign argued the interview violated the BBC Editorial Guidelines and served only the propaganda objectives of the Taliban who used the air time to pass death threats to any media outlets and journalists who the group would see as reporting against them.
Hasht-e Sobh, a leading Afghan independent newspaper recently published the text of the complaint produced by the campaign. The BBC World Service sent a letter to Hasht-e Sobh which was published in the newspaper on 28th of February. In the letter the BBC’s Head of the Language Services conceded that after their investigation they too came to the conclusion that the controversial interview with the Taliban’s spokesman did not meet the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines. The BBC said that it has taken steps to ensure that there will be no repetition of this incident.
The Federation of Afghanistan’s media Organisations and Journalists, a body of media institutions who support freedom of press and professional journalism, welcomes the BBC’s move in ensuring the Afghan audience that such incidents will not happen again. The Federation views the BBC as a veteran in Freedom of Press and Freedom of Speech in the world and expects that the organisation will safeguard the trust of their Afghan audience and their prestige as an impartial and professional media corporation.
The Federation also demands other international media who broadcast for Afghanistan to ensure full impartiality in their reporting of Afghan affairs, and protection of the public interest. We expect that all media shun away from political and ethnical bias.
We at the Federation take complaints of breach of impartiality very seriously and will examine such all such allegations in collaboration with the government’s official bodies for investigation of media offences in Afghanistan.
* Federation of Afghan Media Organisations and Journalists is comprised of Afghanistan Journalists Centre (AFJC), NAI Supporting of Open Media, Afghan Journalists Safety Committee (AJSC), Radio-Television Union of Afghanistan, Afghanistan's Independent Journalists Association, {Other names linked to their respective websites}